C-Ajer Team emerged U16 champions of the inaugural Human Rights Soccer Tournament yesterday, while New Hope for Cambodia Children, an NGO catering for less privileged children, triumphed in the U13 division of the day-long event, organised by the CIA First International School.
About 200 children, parents, teachers and other friends gathered at the artificial pitch of the Vietcam Sports Centre, in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, from as early as 7am, with squads drafted from school pupils and members of local charity organisation across the capital.
“Equality, justice and human rights is for all, and we are using this opportunity of Human Rights Day to promote this concept and bring together children irrespective of political, racial, religious, civil, social, cultural or economic aspects to play soccer together and make friendship,” CIA First School director Andre Struve said.
Home team CIA First and New Hope for Cambodia Children both entered two teams in each of the two age categories, while F-Love, French School, SCAO and C-Ajer presented one U16 team apiece.
Two groups of four comprised the U16 competition, with each playing six-a-side games of 15 minutes. The U13s played out a single round-robin format.
In the U16s, C-Ajer defeated CIA Team A 2-0 in the semi-finals, then repeated that scoreline against F-Love in the finals to cart away the Golden Trophy.
In a dramatic end to the U13 category, NHCC Team A claimed top honours against the odds by edging favourites CIA Team A 2-1 on penalties after regulation time had ended goalless.
Trophies were presented to the winners and runners-up of each age category by CIA First Board director Sam Sprung, as organiser Andre Struve pledged to make the championship an annual event.